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President's Message

September 2020

ACC Summer of Advocacy

Dear Maryland ACC Colleagues,

I hope everyone has had the chance to enjoy the summer as we head into the fall. The ACC Board of Governors has been busy helping Chapters ramp up state advocacy efforts. We organized five webinar meetings in July and August with Chapter leaders and ACC State Advocacy staff. Pre-meeting survey of all Chapters revealed the following:

    • 61% of Chapters have an advocacy committee
    • 16% have a contract lobbyist
    • 33% maintain a list of member connections with state policymakers
    • 33% held an organized advocacy activity in the state capitol in the past two years
    • 87% maintain connection with the state medical society and/or AHA chapter

Maryland ACC recently formed an Advocacy Committee which looks forward to helping address key issues. We have not had the need for a contract lobbyist in recent years, but do have the ability to engage one as needed. We do not maintain a formal list of member connections with state legislators, though we are aware of members with such connections. We do hold an advocacy activity of some kind in Annapolis in February each year (breakfast or dinner with legislators), and we have increased our ties to MedChi and our regional AHA chapter in recent years.

The survey also asked about Chapter advocacy priorities during and after the Covid-19 emergency. Challenges extending from the public health emergency (in rank order):

    • Retaining telehealth flexibilities and coverage
    • Waiver of prior authorization requirements
    • Financial support for practices
    • Broad liability protections for health care workers
    • Ensuring fair distribution of PPP funding

Post-Covid priorities:

    • Prior authorization reform
    • Promotion of cardiovascular public health issues
    • Health care coverage
    • Medical malpractice reform
    • Non-compete agreement regulation/reform

In the summer webinars we reviewed these and other important issues. ACC State Advocacy staff leaders briefed us on best practices, and we discussed how we can learn from one another to better advocate for our patients and our members. One helpful point we heard was to think of advocacy not as lobbying for a specific issue, but as a process of educating policymakers. As clinicians, education should come naturally to us – this is what we do with our patients every day in the office. I have always found that many in Annapolis do not understand well what we do every day and are appreciative of our efforts to help them understand health care issues better.

On the national level, the Health Affairs Committee (HAC) has been extremely busy on a host of issues. They reviewed a number of their efforts and accomplishments on a recent ACC Covid-19 Summer Series webinar which you can view here. You can see the HAC monthly activity report and top national advocacy issues being addressed here. Finally, HAC and ACC staff are working hard on the ACC 2020 Virtual Legislative Conference being held October 4-6. While it is disappointing not to be meeting in person, the virtual format makes it easier than ever for Maryland ACC members to participate – and registration is complimentary. Leg Conference was part of my entrĂ©e into MDACC activities and taught me much about health policy and advocacy. Register here today!

As always, please send MDACC leadership and staff your comments, questions, and suggestions to president@marylandacc.org.

Sincerely,

Joseph E. Marine, MD, FACC

Updated INFORMATION FROM ACC

The ACC has pulled together COVID-19 information and resources and is updating it daily. Click here for the COVID-19 Hub

For the free Summer Education Series, click here

Coronavirus and Your Heart: Don't Ignore Heart Symptoms

ACC CardioSmart recently published the infographic below to emphasize the importance of maintaining heart health through the epidemic. Click here for additional information.

Heart Health during COVID-19 path


Your ACC Urges Accountability in Transition to Value-Based Care

Last week, your ACC, in conjunction with the Maryland ACC Chapter, submitted a letter to the Health Services Cost Review Commission regarding a request for information that was released on March 23. The letter focuses primarily on ensuring that participants are appropriately accountable for achieving clinically relevant cost and quality targets for the identified episodes. Your ACC is committed to working on other state-level efforts to promote and encourage the move to value-based care. If your state is currently working on any efforts for which you may need assistance, please contact   yrafiq@acc.org. More information on your ACC's work with alternative payment models (APMs) and the move to value-based care is available on the APM Hub

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Maryland Chapter, American College of Cardiology
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Phone: 877-793-8171

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